HOW I FOUND THE STRONG by Margaret McMullan
Kirkus Star


A Civil War Story
Age Range: 10 & up
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Spring of 1861 in Mississippi, with laurel and Indian pipe blooming in the woods, is “too pretty out for a war.” But war comes and takes with it Frank Russell’s father and older brother. Left home with women, children, and old men, Frank wishes he were his brother Henry. Growing up, observing the people around him, and losing his grandfather, his grandmother, and others, Frank must find the strength to do the right things—to walk a slave to freedom and to save his father’s life. Rooted in family history, McMullan’s first work for children is exquisitely written, its elegant prose fully up to portraying both the pastoral beauty of Mississippi and the horrors of war. The short, sometimes graphic story carries layers of meaning, evoking the complicated legacies of the South and the new world coming in the war’s terrible wake. Match this with Richard Peck’s The River Between Us (2003) for a pair of superb Civil War stories. Unforgettable. (author’s note) (Fiction. 10+)

Pub Date: April 22nd, 2004
ISBN: 0-618-35008-X
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2004


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